Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author and coach Michael Mitchell | Author Interview

Hosting author and coach Michael Mitchell on my blog today. His book School’s in Session is available for purchase now.

What made you pen down School’s in Session?

The name really came from an idea I had around 20 years ago of a board game for children similar to the principles in the book, taken place in school with values to help students navigate their attitudes and feelings about what it means to do school and value others.

How did the title come to be?

The title came to be due to all the experiences in teaching in a school setting where not so desirable attitudes on the part of children were directed towards their peers and other adults. I wanted to help aid young people in a way to respect and value people.

What do you like the most about writing for children?

What I like the most about writing to children is the tremendous opportunity to impress values and principles in them at a very young age to inspire them to make a difference in the lives of people around them.

How important is it for a child to read?

It is vitally important for a child to read because reading is the foundation for learning. In the book, you’ll find vocabulary words, which brings alive comprehension and understanding of any type of reading material they’ll ever read.

How can a parent raise a reader?

A parent can raise a reader by working with them at a very early age (before Kindergarten), letters, sounds, and other strategies to prepare them before they begin school, to give them a head start into the wonderful world of reading.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Interesting enough, though I’m retired, I still involve myself in many things that young people are involved in. I’m drawn in conversation with young people when I see them because I’m intrigued about their lives. I attend all types of functions they are involved in and take tremendous satisfaction in what they do and how they are doing in their lives. Because I am a physical education teacher, I am an avid sports fan and love to attend sporting events and watch all types of sports on television. Also, an avid fan of the Arts.

Are there any new projects underway?

I am in the process of writing a sequel to the first book and taking off from the end of the school year and the exciting adventures our characters encounter to adventures in the summer.

I’m Michael “Coach” Mitchell. I emphasize Coach because for 40 plus years in education, with most
of those years spent as a Physical Education Teacher. I have an Associate Degree from Penn
Valley Community College in 1976. A Bachelors Degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City in Health and Physical Education in 1978. I went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Webster University in 2003, followed by a Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration, from William Woods University in 2007. I have five wonderful children, a wife of 45 years and at present 11 grandchildren. I’ve worked in the Kansas City Missouri School District, Freedom Christian Academy, and ended my career in the Raytown School District where I retired after 21 years, in 2019. Little did I know, I would be still working part-time at my Church School, Life- a- New Preparatory Academy, where I’m presently working since 2020. I’ve always had a heart for young people.

I’ve worked in Summer Sports Programs, various other schools, Summer Youth Employment
Programs, coached at the High School level, and a time at the Boys and Girls Clubs. While working
in these capacities with young people, coupled with my religious convictions, I decided to move upon the burden inside of me to write a book, to help them as much as I can to navigate through their relationships in this difficult world, we live in. I want to encourage young people and adults alike to take a good look at our attitudes about self-centeredness and focus on the feelings of others. It’s with this mindset Mymei and Weourus were born. I pray you to enjoy the journey and that your life will be touched in some way to help this world to a better place to live. There will also be Words of Wisdom at the end of every chapter. These will be words to ponder that will help us in our dealings with others.

Connect with Michael on:

Website

Authors' Spotlight

Interview with financial advisor, entrepreneur, and author Sandeep N. Setty | Author Interview

Hosting financial advisor, entrepreneur, and author Sandeep N. Setty on my blog today. His book, How the Rich Use Life Insurance as Plan B and Add Economic Stability, is available for purchase now.

What made you pen down this book?

I oversee financial affairs for business owners and affluent families to grow their wealth and keep it for multigeneration while they leave a meaningful legacy.

My top clients insisted that I should store my knowledge in a book form and share it for all people’s benefit. This push from my client made me write a book on financial aspects.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I regularly write posts and articles on social media, online and offline magazines like business associations FKCCI magazine. People started liking, sharing, and commenting on my strategic, inventive, lucid posts, capable of producing fresh thoughts on finances. This writing habit and conversations with my clients enabled my desire to write and publish a book, so I am here as an Author now.

What kind of research did you have to do before writing this?

Financial stability is fundamental to corporate and personal finance management. While researching with my clients, I discovered that almost all business owners have two common problems, i.e.,
1. Liquidity issues
2. Certainty issues

While creating, preserving, and distributing wealth. I have chosen the financial topics around these two challenges to solve in writing the books.

What are the top three myths of wealth creation?

Most of us are kept from our potential to create wealth because we labor under false ideas and perceptions about money, wealth, and prosperity.

Three struggles we face while building wealth and keeping it.

1). The members of our families and communities contribute to our miseducation through their buying habits, employment and investment advice, and other motivating behaviors.
Most people have good intentions. However, their advice relies on the same myths they were taught or information that may be pertinent to their situations but does not relate to our own.

2). Financial Institute believes financial security comes from tying oneself to a corporation worldwide. Institutions perpetuate these beliefs within society because they support their goals; the people within the institutions don’t know any better.

For example, I have one of the highest programs for Bank accounts. My account manager calls me to sell something, and I ask questions that they fail to justify the reason behind taking that product.

3). Financial services companies sell their products by promoting perspectives and methods with fancy names such as “The Miracle of Compounding Interest.” These marketing messages have been used for so long that we have come to accept them as viable and trustworthy financial strategies.

For example, I get messages regularly on LinkedIn from a financial services company for a meeting to collaborate so that I can sell their services. Most of them have their own hidden agenda and don’t understand the need of the client. They target unsuspecting people. They fail to tell the “Velocity of money” concept.

Why do you think people refrain from getting life insurance? What message would you give them?

Not all people refrain from getting life insurance. The fact is That Ultra HNI buys life insurance, EVEN IF THEY DON’T NEED IT! WOW!

And some other people say,

“Sandeep, I don’t need insurance.”

I understand that some people have lots of assets and much income; hence they might not feel the need for insurance. Life insurance’s only job is to replace your future income earning capacity, which is not made yet if the risk occurs.

You see, our job is to PROTECT the guarantees of life. One of the most significant guarantees in life is that we will all pass away eventually. This is not something we often talk about, but this is REALITY. It only leads to one question for clients “What happens to your family when you are not there anymore?”

My job is to ensure they have liquid income that keeps coming through. That is the purpose of insurance, ensuring the family has continuous income to continue living the lifestyle they are currently living. When I educate the clients, they start to be open to the idea of life insurance value.

I have dedicated a whole chapter in the book to answering many more objections and busting many myths around life insurance while protecting their family and wealth.

Are there any new projects underway?

I am working on advanced estate planning to distribute wealth distribution effectively per the client’s letter of wishes.

I regularly share estate planning case studies with clients on assets transfer, income planning, retirement planning, charity planning, and inheritance planning, along with tax and legal experts. I am learning further about family office management practically from my mentor.

I am writing another book about the interesting financial topic, “Myths about budgeting.”

To connect with Author, click here.

Sandeep N. Setty is an entrepreneur with over 15 years of business experience, financial advisor, and author. He holds a B.E. (ECE), an MBA (marketing and entrepreneurship), and an EY (Corporate Finance Program for non-finance business owners) certificate, and he is currently working on his CFP (certified financial planning). Sandeep is a member of numerous global financial mentorship programs that specialize in advanced financial planning, estate planning, and family office management, and has a long list of high-profile clients. He appears in a variety of magazines regularly.

Sandeep’s approach is intended to help families not only live wealthy lives but also leave a lasting family legacy. His framework assists clients in recovering leaking cash, understanding how income is always superior to assets, and finally assisting in the construction of structures that allow his clients to achieve intergenerational financial planning and a better lifestyle.

He hopes that by demystifying the process of wealth creation, his books will help readers achieve financial literacy. Sandeep is a pleasant and honest person who is also interested in human psychology.

Sandeep currently resides in Bengaluru, India, with his family.

Connect with Sandeep on:

LinkedIn

Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author Mitch Maiman | Author Interview

Hosting author Mitch Maiman on my blog today. His book, Every Third Night, is available for purchase now.

What is your favorite Quote or Words to live by?

“Writing is its own reward” – Henry Miller.
For those of us who are blessed with the ability to effectively compose the written word, nothing else is necessary. It doesn’t matter if you are recognized for your work, compensated for your efforts, or universally admired or detested. Writing is pure joy. The process, whatever your unique and individual form of it might be, is like cooking the greatest of gourmet meals, with the completed manuscript becoming the savory dinner. The beauty lies in the elation of expression, in relating your version of the world in whatever style suits you. You could delete your entire novel the moment it is finished, or print it out only to rip it up and throw it in the trash, and the result should be the same – a sense of accomplishment, comfort and delight in your ability to create.

In your book, who is your favorite/most relatable character?

The protagonist, Jimmy Zito. He is complex young man, with an enormous amount of internal conflict that characterizes so many of our lives. In addition, although outwardly he seems very put together and stable, his inner demons haunt his ability to find true peace in his life. One-dimensional characters may be functional in the simplest of movies or on television series, but good novelists must create identities that are believable and move the reader. Ones that elicit emotion. And for that to happen, the stars of every novel must grapple with similar issues that plague real people’s lives. Jimmy Zito is all of that.

In your book, what is your favorite chapter?

Chapter 29, by far. That is the place where the entire novel comes together, where all the sub-plots merge and the story becomes whole. When I started the novel, I had absolutely no idea where the plot would take me. I simply created the characters and let them emerge and develop their distinct personalities. I allowed their growth to dictate the progression of the plot. Then, and only then, could the story line logically proceed accordingly. I didn’t know how Chapter 29 would turn out until I completed Chapter 28.

Please share your favorite excerpt from you book.

“He used a fresh bar of soap to violently clean every crevice of his body as if the force and completeness of this ritual could remove the pain from his core. His tears mixed with the water from the showerhead, and at times seemed equal in volume.

As steam continued to accumulate around him, he cleaned himself into utter exhaustion, using the last ounce of his energy to turn the silver knob
expelling the water to counterclockwise completion.”

This excerpt illustrates the obsessive desperation that the protagonist demonstrated in attempting to rid himself of his awful experience.

Please share your favorite quote from your book.

“Sensations were suppressed until the next hour or next day or next month, and vague anxiety lingered indefinitely until it became outright discomfort.”
This quote exemplifies the poisonous quagmire of residency training and its inherent sense of helplessness.

Explain your book cover design concept and how you came up with the idea.

The book cover design was created in an effort to transmit three distinct messages. First, the life of a resident, continuing to work as the sun comes up, unshaven and obviously awake all night, exhausted beyond comprehension. Second, the shabby conditions of the environment; unmade bunk beds, disheveled on-call room, dirty cups of coffee and medical records randomly dispersed in the environment. The paradoxical expectation that first class medical care is expected to be delivered in third class surroundings. And third, this dedicated young professional still trying to concentrate and perform his job no matter what the obstacles.

Commitment even in the face of turmoil.

Dedication despite hypocrisy.

Coming up with the idea was easy. I just imagined myself enduring the countless sleepless nights in the hospital during my own residency training, creating an internal picture of my actual life during that difficult time.

Even though your book is Fiction is it based on a real-life experience?

Yes, it is based not only on my own experiences during a grueling residency program in a large New York City municipal hospital in the 1980’s, but undoubtedly on the similar encounters of thousand of my colleagues throughout that time period and others. In addition, although conditions in health care training have dramatically improved over the last couple of decades, many of the issues still glaringly exist today, and our youngest and our brightest physician pool is still exposed to unnecessary hardship and trauma. My novel attempts to bring the civilian reader into this foreign world of health care, while, at the same time, potentially validating the career experiences of the physician reader.

Connect with Mitch Maiman on:

Website|LinkedIn|Instagram|Twitter|Pinterest


Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PAUL C. R. MONK | AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author PAUL C. R. MONK on my blog today. His book The Huguenot Chronicles is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I started writing poems when I was 10. Then I tried song writing in my teenage years which then grew into writing prose and my first novel. That novel wasn’t published but as I enjoyed the experience, I continued to write more novels and plays and eventually began working as a writer for video games.

What made you pen down The Huguenot Chronicles?

I came across the journal my book was inspired by while living in France. In fact, I was living in Montauban where the story begins, and was able to do all the research I needed, given that the town centre hadn’t changed much since the 17th century.

Nevertheless, my new job as a scriptwriter took hold of my time and though I had written up the basic plan for the trilogy, it wasn’t until 20 years later that I decided to knuckle down and write the first novel. You could say I had been carrying around the story of Jacob and Jeanne with me all those years. But this enabled it to mature, and also gave me a good pretext to holiday in the various locations where the book takes place. I was able to do on-site research in all the main locations in Merchants of Virtue.

During my travels I was also able to speak to local historians and experts on the subject and have tried very hard to keep the details in the books historically correct. This meant reading many other journals from the period, all very inspiring! Without drowning the story in historical detail, I want my readers to feel as if they are there. I want you to feel totally immersed in the story world of Jacob and Jeanne Delpech.

Is the series complete?

The trilogy is complete. But I’m writing a sequel that will carry the series to colonial New York.

It is set in 1685. What kind of research did you have to do before writing the book?

I was always an avid history lover but knew very little about the Huguenots when I first came across the journal that inspired the Chronicles. Over the next twenty years I built up my knowledge of the era, attended seminars and spoke to historians who knew about the subject. Being fluent in French also helped a lot as it allowed me to read many journals from the period.

Tell us a little about the plot.

It goes like this:

A family torn apart. A king with an iron fist. Will their love, faith, and loyalty be strong enough to help them survive war, persecution and a cruel separation?

France, 1685. Jeanne is the wife of a wealthy merchant, but now she risks losing everything. Louis XIV’s soldiers will stop at nothing to convert the country’s Huguenot “heretics”, yet Jeanne and Jacob hold fast to their Protestant principles of liberty of conscience.

But will the punishment for their defiance be more than they can bear?

If Jeanne and Jacob can’t find a way to evade the soldiers’ clutches, their family will face a fate worse than poverty and imprisonment. They may never see each other again…

As Jacob becomes an indentured servant in the New World and Jeanne earns a meagre living in Switzerland, a sudden disruption in European politics leaves their chance of a bittersweet homecoming more doubtful than ever…

Will the Delpech family survive the years of war, piracy, and persecution to reunite at last?

You’ll adore this brilliantly researched historical saga because everyone loves heart-warming tales of family loyalty and a fight for survival against the odds.

How long did it take for you to write the whole thing?

I first put pen to paper in 2015. I’ve been working on the books since then, as well as other books in different genres.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Much of my spare time is taken up by research, writing, and travelling.

Are there any new projects underway?

I will shortly be recording the audiobook for May Stuart, which is a standalone novel set in the world of the Huguenot Chronicles trilogy.

Then there’s the sequel to the trilogy which I am currently writing.

PAUL C. R. MONK has worked as a linguist, teacher and script writer. It was while working as a script writer that in 2014 he published his first novel, Strange Metamorphosis, which won the Literary Classics Eloquent Quill award. He has since staged a number of plays, and has been busy completing his historical fiction serial set in the 17th century. The Huguenot Connection trilogy, which includes Merchants of Virtue, Voyage of Malice and Land of Hope, takes the reader from King Louis’s France to the Caribbean, and from London to colonial New York, with drama-filled stops in the Rhine Valley and war-torn Ireland…

Connect with Paul on:

Website|Facebook|Instagram

Authors' Spotlight

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR TERENCE ANG | AUTHOR INTERVIEW

It is my pleasure to host author Terence Ang on my blog today. His book A Cry in the Dark is available for purchase now.

What inspired you to come up with this book?

I thought strokes only happened to people in their 70s and 80s. I was in the pink of health and I was only 55. The doctors thought I would not survive but I did. I’ve since found out that more and more younger people are becoming victims of this destructive monster. I want to raise awareness of this fact — anyone can suffer a stroke. I also want to tell fellow victims, their caregivers and the people who love them, that they are not alone, that there is help and there is hope. Suffering a stroke is not the end of life, but a new beginning. Like me, they have the power to fill the pages of their life with love and light, that miracles do happen.

Why was it important to you to document your personal experience in this book?

I opened my eyes to find I was breathing but I was no longer me. My mind was a stranger and I was trapped in body that was dead. For a while, I wished I was dead. I tried very hard to die but found that dying was just as difficult. Finally, I decided I was going to live. And I was going to live life “magnificently and beautifully”. In the midst of my anguish, in the process of redefining normalcy, in my struggle towards some form of functional mobility, I discovered something germinating, coming alive, deep within. Documenting my personal experience, putting words to that elusive something growing from deep within me was my way of bringing what seemed like a figment of imagination into tangible being. People talk about new beginnings, I came face to face with a new creation, a new me.

Why did you choose to tell the story from the perspective of an adult narrating his experience to a child?

The child is the new me. The adult is the old me. My adventures at living life to the fullest is an ongoing narrative, a tender communion and sharing of perspectives, the sometimes hilarious and often touching attempts at redefining values, priorities and life itself, between the new me and the old me. The adult starts from the premise of “I once knew” and struggles with the shame, embarrassment, indignity and humiliation of relearning. Whereas, for the child, everything is new, every attempt at learning is exciting, every achievement is a celebration. Learning to walk, to feed myself, to experiment with vocabulary, to make mistakes like a child, can be rather joyful.

How old were you, what year was it and what job were you doing when you had a stroke?

I was 55. I had my stroke in August 2020. At that time, I was Head of Digital Marketing and
E-Commerce at a consumer electronics company.

What were some of the main challenges you had to overcome after getting a stroke?

Fear. Fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of humiliation, fear of failure, of never being good enough, fear of rejection, fear of not knowing how to react to the pity on someone’s face. Illogical, unreasonable, crippling fear.

How did you feel recounting your experiences in the hospital during the creation of this book?

#GratefulStepsSG

It was very healing. Recounting my experiences got rid of shifting shadows, I felt I was exposing everything to the light. Recounting made me see myself and my challenges from a factual perspective. I realised I had so much to be thankful for, so much to laugh about.

What helped you keep your spirits up?

The professionalism, care and concern of doctors, nurses, therapists, the love of my family and friends, the gift of humour and the ability to laugh at myself, the belief that nothing is permanent, that most things, especially the painful and ugly, shall pass.

And the gift from the Minister of Health. He answered my email for help, “showed me I was not just a digit in a population of over 5.6 million. He showed me I mattered”. (From “The Letter”)

Are you working currently?

I am currently working on a project to make rehabilitation more accessible to post-stroke patients, and anyone with neurological issues. GRATEFULSTEPS is a one-stop holistic treatment centre for long term neurological rehabilitation, a place where people can get the help they need to gain a measure of independence and improve their quality of life.

What message, if any, do you hope to convey with your book?

There’s always something to laugh about, even when you’re crying.


Press Release:

“Given a choice, I would have dressed for the occasion. I dressed for every occasion, even nightmares. But this time… I was caught unawares… I was no longer in control.”

Terence never dreamt he would suffer a stroke. After all, didn’t strokes happen only to old people? Terence did not die, he survived. But there is a difference between just surviving and living “magnificently and beautifully”.

A Cry In The Dark tells of Terence’s adventures at living life to the full. He discovers a fascinating world between cracks and crevices, befriends inhabitants in and along the Punggol Waterway. He strides through wide open spaces, stumbles down narrow dirt paths and finds home inthe most surprising places. He emerges unscathed between rocks and hard places and courageously soars above the impossible. He gains new perspectives of love and life and redefines limitations.

Terence’s story may have begun with a cry in the dark. But in the end, he discovers he has morestrength, more courage, much more in himself than he can ever think or imagine.

This book is written, and illustrated with Terence’s ‘non-functional’ right hand, for someone who is crying in the dark. Because there is always something to laugh about, even when one is crying.

Email: Terence.angbp@gmail.com


Authors' Spotlight

Interview with author Jenni Lorraine | Author Interview

It is my pleasure to host author Jenni Lorraine on my blog today. Her debut novel Tailypo, the first book in the Tess trilogy, is available for purchase now.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I think a part of me has always loved storytelling. As a child, I would tell stories to my little sister and I’d put together books by stapling together paper and writing stories inside for my mom.

I don’t think I realized that being a writer as a career was really an option. I always saw it sort of like being a movie star or a musician- it was a hobby that some people were exceptionally good at and could make a living doing. I think that mindset kept me from really pursuing it seriously until I sort of stumbled into my writing career by chance.

There was definitely a moment where I looked around and realized “Oh, hey.. I’m actually making a living doing this. I guess I should get serious about it.”

What made you pen down The Sourwood Mountain Series?

It’s all born of an idea that I had been carrying around for a long time in the back of my head. I had a notebook filled up with ideas for this mystery novel and eventually realized that it was just too much for one story on its own. So I started divvying up the ideas among several different storylines and then a series developed.

How many books do you plan to release in this series?

As many as I can get away with. There are three trilogies already laid out and more ideas churning.

Tell us a little about the plot of Tailypo.

Sure. Tailypo centers around a little girl named Tessie. She has had a rough start to life and is busy catching up on the work of being a kid. As a means of coping with some of her early-life traumas, she’s become just absorbed in this idea that folklore monsters are real.

She has a little cluster of misfit friends that she recruits to help her prove that these creatures exist and live in the woods outside of their little town, but while they’re hunting for monster clues, they stumble upon the skeleton of a young woman.

This, of course, leads to a murder investigation and there’s a lot of twisty-turny things that follow. It’s really at its heart a story about community, though, and family and the unshakable resilience of people in general, but especially children.

Do you have a writing schedule?

I do, actually. I write in the mornings every weekday morning. I’m adamant about taking weekends off to spend time with my family and my dogs.

I try to be done with my writing by early afternoon so I can cook and do things around the house and enjoy myself. It saves me from burnout and ensures that writing stays fun for me and doesn’t become a chore.

How long did it take for you to draft the Tess trilogy?

A lot went into this trilogy. I outlined the story, then researched a bit on forensics. The story is set in the mid-90s, so forensics were a lot different then than what we know of them now. I really had to dig back and find out what investigators were able to learn and accomplish with the resources they had available at that time and what their limitations were.

Once the story was laid out, I actually found two retired Homicide detectives and ran the story by them for their input. We tweaked some details on the investigation after that because they told me there were some inconsistencies that I had missed.

Then I finally got started writing.

It was years in the making.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have a lot of pets that keep me busy. I love animals. I always have.

I also like to cook. I have dabbled some in photography, but found I’m not very good at it.
I build miniatures and dollhouses. I do a little woodworking.

Mostly, though, I just enjoy being around my family and my dogs. They’re my heartbeat.

Are there any new projects underway?

Right now, I am working on the next trilogy for the Sourwood Mountain Series. It will be a new set of characters in a new town and in a new time. Other than that, details of the project are under wraps for now.

Jenni Lorraine came screaming into the world from the hickory sticks of Dickson, Tennessee in the spring of 1984. Her father was a truck driver. Her mother was a homemaker.

The middle child of three daughters, Jenni served a short stint in childhood before rushing into adulthood headfirst by becoming the mother of two little girls before she was even old enough for a legal sip of booze. She married (and divorced) young, before settling down with her children and current husband on the prairies of eastern South Dakota.

Born into a family of storytellers, Jenni started writing tall tales in kindergarten from the darkness of a shared bedroom as a means of lulling her baby sister to sleep. She would continue to write stories and poetry in yellow notebooks until eventually discovering she could make a living ghostwriting.
She worked thirteen years with a well-known figure in the romance genre before burning out on the genre and dabbling in other careers. When a chronic illness limited her to her home, her husband recommended she start writing once again to fill her time and keep her mind busy.
She reconnected with her contacts in the romance-writing community and found temporary work before finally admitting during a conference call that what she really wanted to write were mysteries.

To her delight, her clients were more than happy to help her forge her own career. Today, she continues her work as a developmental editor, publishing coach, and ghostwriter while also working on her own independent projects.

Connect with Jenni on:

Facebook|Instagram|Patreon